Wild garlic

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There are a number of plants commonly classified as wild garlic due to their garlic-like odour and flavour.

Ramsons

Ramsons

Ramson (Allium ursinum)' (also known as buckrams, wild garlic, broad-leaved garlic, wood garlic or bear's garlic) is a wild relative of chives. The Latin name owes to the brown bear's taste for the bulbs and habit of digging up the ground to get at them; they are also a favourite of wild boar.

Ramson leaves are edible; they can be used as salad, spice, boiled as a vegetable, or as an ingredient for pesto in lieu of basil. The bulbs and flowers are also very tasty.

Ramson leaves are also used as fodder. Cows that have fed on ramsons give milk that slightly tastes of garlic, and butter made from this milk used to be very popular in 19th century Switzerland.

Similarity to Poisonous Plants

Ramson leaves are easily mistaken for lily of the valley, sometimes also those of Colchicum autumnale and Arum maculatum. All three are poisonous and possibly deadly. A good means of positively identifying ramsons is grinding the leaves between one's fingers, which should produce a garlic-like smell

Crow garlic

Crow garlic in flower (June-August) and leaves before flowering

Allium vineale (Crow Garlic or Wild Onion) is a perennial bulb flower in the genus Allium, native to Europe, north Africa and western Asia. The species is introduced in Australia and North America, where it has become an invasive species.

All parts of the plant have a strong garlic odour. The underground bulb is 1-2 cm diameter, with a fibrous outer layer. The flowers are 2-5 mm long, with six petals varying in colour from pink to red or greenish-white. It flowers in the summer, June to August in northern Europe.

Crow Garlic can be used as a substitute for garlic. It imparts a garlic-like flavour and odour on dairy and beef products when grazed by livestock. It is sometimes considered a weed, as grain products may become tainted with a garlic odour or flavour in the presence of aerial bulblets at the time of harvest.

Three-cornered leek

Three-cornered leek

Allium triquetrum (also known as three-cornered leek, angled onion, onion weed and three-cornered garlic) is a Mediterranean plant in the family Alliaceae, but can also be found along the coasts of Oregon and California. Many parts of the plant are edible and taste somewhat like garlic or onion. The plant spreads rapidly and is locally common/invasive, particularly in disturbed areas.


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